Uganda’s campaigns marred by human rights violation

By Edwin Muhumuza

15 complaints of Human Rights violation have been registered in Kampala, Wakiso and other parts of the country in the ongoing campaign.

According to the Human Rights Commission, the majority of them came in following the nationwide riots of 18th and 19th of November when security forces arrested presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi.

13 Cases involve violation to the right of life where people were shot and killed. Among others is the arrest of people who have been denied access to family, lawyers and medical care.

While addressing the media in Kampala, the Acting Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Katebalirwe Amooti , attributed the rights abuses to candidates as well as voters who have decided to defy the law in regard to upholding COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.

His remarks came on the eve of the commemoration of the Human Rights Day under the theme ‘building Back Better: Putting Human Rights at the Center of the COVID-19 Recovery.

The Director of Complaints, Investigations and Legal services, Ida Namaganda said that among the cases were those that included people who were shot directly and those that were shot by stray bullets and unfortunately lost their lives. She added that thirteen of them had their relatives log complaints.

‘Two of the complaints are alleging incommunicado detention amid refusal by security forces to permit access from family, lawyers and doctors.’

At the height of the crisis security forces were put on the spot over the murders and according to security Minister Elly Tumwine, Police in Uganda have a right to shoot protesters dead if they reach a ‘certain level of violence’.

According to the law and human rights standards, the police have a duty to keep law and order all the time and even during riotous situations.

However on 18th and 19th of November citizens were shot, some lost their lives and others got injured bringing into play the issue of excessive force which is also governed by certain principals.

‘The threat that is coming towards you as a law enforcement officer should be proportional to the force that you are using; were the people coming towards you using a gun? Was it necessary for you to use the force you used to bring back law and order?

In matters where we had citizens involved in acts of criminality where we saw beatings, robbing and undressing, was it necessary to use gunfire to quell the situation? Were their proclamations by commanders of operations that if you do not stop what you are doing we are going to resort to gunfire? Namaganda said.

So far there are ten cases undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the African Center of Treatment and rehabilitation of Torture victims since the campaign period began according to Director of the center, Samuel Kiberu Nsubuga.

Youth Agenda 2020 asks Museveni to distance self from opportunists

By Deo Wasswa

A section of Youth in Wakiso and Kampala have said that President Museveni should wake up and revise his movement strategy as he seeks for votes otherwise his support from the youth will continue to incline.

Under their umbrella group, Youth Agenda 2020 they say President Museveni should start to meet Youth leaders while carrying out his campaign as this will help him to dig deep and understand the challenges affecting youth and applicable solutions.

Led by Johnson Akampa Tanbull, Ssozi George William and Benson Aine, they have urged Museveni to begin distancing himself from opportunists in NRM like Moses Sali aka Bebe cool, Balaam Baruhakare and other who pretend to be youth mobilizers yet they are out of youth age bracket and even not on ground.

They say since the inception of his campaign, Museveni has only met youth leaders in Busoga which has continued to send a clear image that Museveni is paying less attention to youth.

According to them, the reason why more youth are now supporting NUP presidential Candidate Kyagulanyi Sentamu is that his message and manifesto is inspirational and hopeful to youths.

ANT objects to having ballot papers printed in Uganda

By Sania Babirye

Alliance for National Transformation says it is objected to the idea of having ballot papers especially those for president and members of parliament printed from Uganda.

Addressing the media this morning,at their party headquarters in Kampala, Dan Mugarurwa the chief of ANT’ electoral affairs says the ballot papers should be printed by people who are not attached in way with the ruling government, yet they question the objectivity of those being sought of.

Mugarura says a competent organisation from outside Uganda that has the integrity and that all party’s should be given an opportunity to follow up the said printing to certify its authenticity just like it was in 2006.

He says that having ballot papers printed outside the country makes them less easily forged compared to those that printed internally.

But. Dan Mugarura also said that they will be moving from their Party headquarters in Kampala to Kyambogo on Monday at 3pm to have their presidential aspirant and party president Mugisha Muntu nominated on Monday next week.

He says that although they had agreed with EC to have about 50 people escort their candidate for nomination from the 10 that will be allowed to enter inside the nomination offices, its party members are currently in a meeting with EC to agree on the number of supporters and Members that will be allowed to escort them.

He adds that they expect about to move with 4-5 cars during that day unless otherwise.

NUP asks EC to intervene on police interference during campaigns

By Sania Babirye

National unity platform party led by Kyadondo East MP Kyagulanyi has unveiled their Presidential candidate Official Poster.

These have also launched their slogan, “When the struggle is over, we shall wear the victors’ crown in A NEW UGANDA.”

Speaking at the function at their headquarters in Kamyokya, David Lubongoya the party secretary general has revealed that their manifesto will be unveiled soon.

Joel Senyonyi the party spokesperson has called upon the electoral commission to intervene in what he has called the continued defacing of their presidential flag bearer posters by security operatives including the police and the army if its not partisan.

Ssenyonyi now wants the electoral commission to intervene if its independent by stopping the police and the army from continuing to pull down posters of party president Robert Kyagulanyi down while protecting those of president Museveni.

Senyonyi further says that it is not fair that EC that has powers but has not come out to criticise such actions of the army and police .

He says that if this does not stop, its likely to cause disharmony amongst Ugandans.

He also criticized the police from arresting and detaining their members including those who are underage like 17 year old Walakira Elijah without charging them with any offence.

IPOD chairman demands explanation on distribution of party activities money

By Alice Lubwama

The chairperson Inter party organization for dialogue (IPOD) also president general of Justice Forum (JEEMA ) Asumani Basalirwa has demanded that speaker Kadaga asks the finance minister Matia Kasaija to explain the basis which he instructed the Electoral commission to distribute funds political parties activities depending on numerical strength in parliament.

Basalirwa has informed parliament this afternoon that although the matter was conclusively discussed by IPOD and the political parties and organization act requires the electoral commission to distribute the money equally the funds were given out basing on numerical strength on instructions of Kasaija.

He says that out of the 15 billion shillings released to the electoral commission for party activities NRM party got 12 billion shillings, FDC 1.5 billion, DP 650 million UPC 350 million and JEEMA got only 41 million shillings, which he says is unfair.

Police still confiscating material similar to military attires

By Robert Segawa

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochora has tasked the territorial police commanders across the country to monitor the implementation of COVID-19 guidelines by all schools after the resumption of the lessons for finalists.

Last week, universities and other tertiary institutions reopened for all the final year students after government permitted them.

Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson says that this directive is meant to ensure that students are in a controlled environment that is free from COVID-19 infections.

Meanwhile, police under the joint security task force are extending the operation of confiscating materials similar to military stores include, uniforms, ballets, Pips, and desert boots among others to upcountry specifically targeting the manufacturers and traders as Enanga explains.

This follows police raid at the National Unity Platform (NUP) headquarters in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb last week where several people were arrested and a number of items similar to military store include uniforms and accouterments were confiscated.

Nominations for the various parliamentary seats continue

By Our reporters

Nominations for aspirants contesting for the directly elected, and woman Member of Parliament in Kampala has ended peacefully. As Capital Radio’s Edwin Muhumuza pitched camp at the Electoral commission registrar’s office in Ntinda , he reports that 14 people have been nominated without any chaos.

Incumbent Peter Mugema Panadol has been nominated as an Independent candidate for the Iganga Municipality MP seat after losing out in the NRM primaries. Police swung into action after the incumbent who lost in the NRM primaries turned up for nomination escorted by a crowd of his supporters which is against the SOP’s set by the electoral commission.

Minister for Trade Amelia Kyambade has been nominated to contest for the seat of member of Parliament for Mawokota.She promises to improve the lives of the youth,through teaching them vocational skills so that they can be able to create their own jobs, bring in clean water and electricity to her voters. Others nominated for the same seat are Hillary Kiyaga commonly known as Dr. Hilderman on the National Unity Platform (NUP) party ticket , Joseph Zimulamugwanya, an independent candidate, and Democratic Party’s Mayinja Tebusweke

Three people have so far been nominated to stand for different constituencies in Sembabule district amid tight security. They are Salim Kiseka independent aspirant for Mawogola north, Joseph Kitayimbwa Ssekabito aspirant for Mawogola north, and Henry Nyanzi of Nation Unity Platform for Mawogola North, On Thursday, 15 people were successfully nominated by the electoral commission to contest for the 5 constituency in district.

Court okays Buwembo’s nomination

By Sania Babirye

Kampala high court judge Micheal Elabu has Okayed the nomination of Habib Buwembo as FDCs rightful flag bearer fir Rubaga South constituency.

This is after an aggrieved Forum for Democratic Change aspirant for the same seat Nakanwagi Grace petitioned the high court seeking to block Buwembo’s nomination on grounds that the party had already voted her as the flag bearer.

Justice Elabu has ruled that Buwembo genuinely won the FDC primaries with 29 votes against Nakanwagi who pulled only four votes.

He added that it would be unfair for court to interfere with the will of the people who voted Buwembo to represent them

Nakanwagi has also been ordered to pay costs to Buwembo.

Police uses tear gas to disperse Panadol’s supporters

By Sania Babirye

Incumbent Peter Mugema Panadol has been nominated as an Independent candidate for the Iganga Municipality MP seat after losing out in the NRM primaries.

He however says he is still an NRM member.

He said he decided to run as an independent instead of appealing to the NRM tribunal because he does not believe that he would have gotten justice in the same party electoral commission that had cheated him and declared his rival winner.

He says he trusts the will of the people who had always elected him back and will win by 70%.

Mugema says he will concentrate on improving the health of his voters.

Meanwhile, police was engaged in a battle with Panadol’s supporters who had escorted him at the Iganga district headquarters for nomination, they fired teargas to disperse the gathering.

Police tightens security as EC nominates candidates

BY EDWIN MUHUMUZA

By 8 O’clock members aspiring for elective parliamentary positions in Kampala began streaming into the electoral commission offices in Ntinda , city suburb.

The requirements for one to be nominated include the aspirant being a registered voter of the specific electoral area they want to represent in Parliament.

One should also be in possession of a receipt of sh3m nomination fees from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), certificates and original copies of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) or its equivalent (only for viewing).

Other requirements are registered voters to support the aspirants; and in case of change of name, the aspirant must have sworn in an affidavit by a magistrate or commissioner of oath.

At exactly 2 O’clock close to fifty aspirants had fulfilled these requirements according to the Returning officer for Kampala, Fredrick Muwaya Tibakunno in what has been a busy day for the electoral commission.

The nominations will continue tomorrow (Friday) as the other day for the parliamentary nominations.

‘We have had a very smooth operation right from the beginning. We have nominated 44 persons, 41 of them for the directly elected members of parliament for the different constituencies within Kampala City. Three of them, for women member of parliament. We are expecting many more. Today alone we have about 55 persons to who booked to be nominated. Tomorrow we have another number, we hope that we shall be able to handle them by close of business. So we do not think that there will be a challenge in regard to some people not fulfilling the requirements.’ Muwaya said.

In an era when the corona virus continues to shake the entire world, only four people were allowed to accompany the aspirants, a policy that was actively enforced by a combined team of Local Defence Unit Personnel, Uganda Police, and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces.

Some of the successful nominees include; Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala central),Betty Kamya (Lubaga North) Ken Lukyamuzi (Lubaga North) Sulaiman Kidandala (Kawempe North) Muhammad Segirinya (Kawempe North) Abubakar Kawalya (Lubaga North) Ibrahim Kasozi – (Makindye East) Allan Sewanyana (Makindye West) Bashir Kazibwe,(Kawempe North) Kenneth Paul Kakande (Nakawa East) Dennis Mbidde Sebugwawo (Lubaga South) Stella Nyanzi,Kampala Woman, Farida Nambi (Kampala Woman) and Ssebugwawo Mbidde (Lubaga South).

We had many more reporters are around in regions to update us;

In Wakiso, Minister Seninde Rosemary, Nakato Miriam, Namugga Grace, Naluyima Betty, Medard Lubega Ssegona have also been successfully nominated. Hon. Semujju was brought for nominations by a police after police foiled his procession from Kiira municipality. The FDC party spokesperson who is also aspiring member of Parliament for Kiira Municipality was later bundled up into a police car immediately after nomination and taken to an unknown location.
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Reports from Masaka indicate that Field Force Unit personnel have been deployed at the electoral commission ahead of the arrival of NUP members for nomination
Some of the people who have been successfully nominated in Masaka include Former SC Villa and Uganda cranes defender Dan Ntale has been nominated. Others who have been nominated in this region include, Mayor Kayemba Godfrey, Hon. Mukasa Mbidde, Chris Nakyejwe,among others

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Speaking to Speaker Kadaga shortly after being nominated, she said, “I’ve been nominated as a candidate for the Kamuli Woman MP seat. My priority, as MP, will be the struggle for tarmacking of three key roads that link Kamuli to three districts. These are: Bukungu to Kimaka in Jinja; Budhumbula to Kasolo in Iganga; & the road that leads to Pallisa District. The other key priorities will be to stimulate economic growth, repair the ferry and introduction of avocado as a cash crop. Research shows that a farmer can earn as much as 28m/- from it. I’ll also enhance the struggle for sugarcane markets and modes of value addition.”